“We no longer have a Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club as of last week,” he told the club members.
This is due to lack of funds and the organization’s debt.
The Salvation Army will run a smaller program where parents will have to pay to send their children. Butler said he hopes to improve the program as the economy improves.
Butler began by discussing the organization’s Christmas efforts.
“How many of you rang the bell this week?” he asked. “How many of you filled stockings? How many of you gave out food baskets to those in need?”
Those who had done so stood up and were recognized.
Butler said this year, the organization gave out gifts to 1,500 needy children. He described the stacks of boxes of food in the organization’s gym, which were given out as Christmas dinners.
“We can’t do this without you folks,” he said.
He said to prepare for Wednesday’s distribution of food and toys, he and other staff worked from 7 a.m. until after 10 p.m. He said every year, there is typically one person who isn’t satisfied with the organization’s assistance, but this year, there were none.
He said one year, he had wished the Christmas season was over so he could rest. However, he said the Lord knew what was best for him.
That year, a woman received two bicycles for her children. She stood there and cried. That alone made the year’s work worth it, he said.
He described the organization’s overall mission. He said The Salvation Army helps the homeless, those being evicted and the hungry. He said the organization’s House of Hope emergency shelter houses between about 45 people per night, including victims of domestic violence.